The Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou looked ahead to tomorrow’s Scottish Premierhship game against Aberdeen at Celtic Park – and the chance to collect three vital points while also putting on a performance worthy of the tribute to Bertie Auld – one that would have put a smile on the Celtic legend’s face. He also reflected on the defeat against Leverkusen but only as a means to looking forward to what he intends to achieve with Celtic in the future.
First up, Ange on the game against Aberdeen tomorrow. “It’s a big match, it’s back into the league and it’s an important game at home back at Celtic Park so we want to keep the momentum going in the league,” Ange Postecoglou told the official Celtic FC website. “Obviously after a big European night we just want to make sure the players recover well and we may have to make some changes to just make sure that the team is up and ready for it.”
The manager and the Celtic first team squad were at St Mary’s yesterday morning despite getting back from Germany in the wee small hours. They were there to pay their respects to Bertie Auld and tomorrow will be the first home game at Celtic Park since the Lisbon Lion’s passing. The Celtic Family will come together for a tribute ahead of kick-off and the club have asked everyone to be in their seats at least ten minutes before the 3pm kick-off. Once again Ange will be centre stage in this alongside his captain Callum McGregor and the Aberdeen captain and former Celtic captain Scott Brown, who of course will have plenty of his own special memories of knowing Bertie.
“It’s been a pretty emotional 10 days and we shouldn’t miss any opportunity to honour him and represent him in the best possible manner,” Ange said. “The way we’ll do it as a team is to go out there and hopefully put on a performance that he would’ve smiled at.”
Ange had earlier looked back on what turned out to be a frustrating night against Leverkusen as his side simply didn’t have enough in the tank to see out the game with a 2-1 win with just eight minutes remaining.
“I’m not low,” the Celtic manager told the media, as reported by Scottish Sun. “I just want us to be a team that competes at this level and I get disappointed when the players and the fans put everything into it and don’t get the rewards.
“I take that to heart, but it just further fuels the fire within me to make sure we get to where I want us to get to. We are a team that can compete at this level. It’s hard for me to ask people to be patient. People can make their own assessments based on what they see and what we are doing.
“Some people might look at it and see results like Leverkusen and think we’re not there.
Others might see that we are developing and think that throughout this Europa League tournament we have got stronger. We are not at Bayer Leverkusen’s level, absolutely not.
“But that is where we want to get to and we went out there and hung in there and gave ourselves a chance for a result. We also found out that, while the gap is there, I think it’s smaller than it was the last time we played them,” Postecoglou said.
“I just want to compete at the highest possible level and develop a team that can play against the best on the continent. That’s my ambition and whether that’s too lofty or too unrealistic, I don’t know.
“But I believe we can get there over time, particularly if we take the approach we did in Germany. Credit to the players, we played a good team and refused to yield. We showed enormous spirit and enormous courage to score our goals.
“Not many teams go there and score two goals away from home, but in the end we realise there is still a gap. My goal is to build a team that bridges that gap.”
💬 “It’s an important game at home and we want to keep momentum going in the league.”
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) November 27, 2021